The Hitchhiker’s Guide, The Horse and His Boy, and A Room of One’s Own

A lot of possession going on in that title…
(This is sooooo late. I’m sorry.)

The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy

I’ve heard a lot of great things about this book from booktubers, bookbloggers, and friends. So, naturally, I anticipated reading it with a certain level of excitement. What I knew of the book — comical things happening in space — sounded promising, but I did not expect what I will have to go through…

The Hitchhiker’s Guide can be described by a single phrase: NONSENSE IN SPACE. There you go. All you need to know before jumping on the bandwagon and dipping yourself into Douglas Adams’s bizarre imagination.

A lot of the time I found myself reading nonsense, pure nonsense — and understanding little of what just passed as gibberish in my brain. I respect and value ingenuity, but a lot of the names and situations made me ponder WHAT ON EARTH (or in space, rather) WAS GOING ON IN ADAMS’S MIND?!

Okay, now I am going a little overboard with this. It isn’t that bad. It’s funny and imaginative. Reading this was like reading several jumbled up Doctor Who episodes: you find yourself crying “WHAT?” far too often, but accepting whatever is thrown at you, anyway. Also, Russel T Davies wrote the foreword, so … that’s practically alien stuff in space showering galactic confetti onto the universe and everything.

Basically, you probably have heard a lot of Hitchhiker’s Guide references already, as have I. (Don’t Panic, 42, don’t forget your towel!, so long and thanks for all the fish…) So the only logical thing to do now is to pick up the book and finally understand what the heck everybody is talking about.

Bonus: the edition pictured might be one of the more beautiful and genius covers you have seen in a long time. It is DIY and has stickers and stuff!

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The Horse and His Boy

This is the third book in The Chronicles’s of Narnia trilogy of seven books. I also feel that this is the odd one in the series. Partially because of its position in the middle, partially because it is the first one where the setting isn’t centrally Narnia, partially because of its odd location on the timeline of the series — I feel like this novel is often overlooked. Even I always forget it.

But all of the above do not diminish the novel’s worth. The Horse and His Boy is just as interesting, rich in detail, and exemplary in storytelling as the former two books. The change of setting, too, makes it more exotic and exploratory than the other couple.

Our prime characters, Shasta, Aravis, and the horses Bree and Hwin, are just as likeable as Peter, Edmund, Susan, and Lucy (who, in this timeline, are long Kings and Queens already) and just as shortlived as Digory and Polly.

This story takes an unusual twist, which, although expected by older and second-time readers, still retains the pleasant atmosphere of surprise.

Most importantly, I love the Narnia books because they are so comforting. Through the style of narration — Lewis’s paternal voice never fails to make me forget daily troubles — and, of course, the undertones of Christianity, which, although they are very subtle and I far too nonreligious, add an overall feeling of warmth and goodness.

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A Room of One’s Own

Oh, Virginia Woolf, how I wish I were your contemporary. The mere possibility of ever seeing you in person sends my head spinning. But, luckily, your legacy is laid down by your pen, and I can hear your voice even as I read your lines.

Virginia Woolf opens her essay by openly stating that she was asked to write about “women and fiction”. At first she ponders what that means, but then her thoughts gather and begin building one upon the other with immense fortitude. Woolf covers the topic well, very well. She writes, thinks, writes, ponders, muses — you can follow her thoughts almost as they pass through her mind, and they are supreme. She writes of how women, against all odds — custom, patriarchy, even against history itself, —  managed to write. She mildly suggests that women are to be praised higher for this because they did not have the opportunities, experiences, and history of men.

And there is so much more. I cannot recommend this essay enough. Whether you are a woman, writer, both or neither — READ THIS. It’s magnificent.

At times it can go on a rant, but the rant always has a point, so I didn’t mind that too much, and also that is Woolf’s style.

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